We’ve all heard that the food we eat and the medications we take can sometimes conflict with each other. AARP has collected information on which medications are impacted by what foods in their new book, Don’t Eat This If You’re Taking That. We thought we would share some of their advice.
If you take blood thinners, avoid fish oil supplements.
Large amounts of fish oil can also thin the blood. Combined with these kinds of medications, this can pose a health risk. Fish contains small, dietary amount of fish oil, so consuming fish is safe.
If you take certain statins for high cholesterol, avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice
Grapefruit interferes with your body’s metabolism of atorvastatin (Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor) and lovastatin (Altoprev, Mevacor), so your intended dose might not be accurate. If you must drink grapefruit juice, ask your doctor to prescribe another statin that is not affected by it.
If you take medicine for diabetes, avoid too much cinnamon
This spice in large amounts can lower blood sugar – which is exactly what diabetes drugs do. That means your blood sugar could get dangerously low. A sprinkle of cinnamon in cooking is safe, but avoid taking high dose supplements.
If you take certain antidepressants avoid red wine, hard cheese, and chocolate
This applies to monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) antidepressants. Normally the body breaks down these foods using monoamine oxidase, but the MAIOs block this enzyme.
If you take certain heart medicines, avoid too much calcium
Drugs called calcium channel blockers work to lower blood pressure. Too much calcium in the diet can work against this process. Limit your daily intake from all sources – including dairy products, supplements, and juices fortified with calcium.
If you take certain blood-pressure medicine, take it easy on bananas and other high-potassium foods
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors lower blood pressure but also boost potassium retention. Eating too many foods containing potassium, such as bananas, may cause harmful effects.
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